Salon business expert Liz McKeon gives pointers on how to make the most out of the profitable final stretch
As we are now in quarter four of the year, it is time to plan forward and make the most of the Christmas trade and ensure you have a great finish. Keeping the energy high and the drive going can be a challenge as we head into this all-important last quarter. You are probably tired, as you have worked very hard all year long to meet your targets, excel at your goals and ensure that your bottom line is strong and healthy.
This is the quarter that not only determines how strong you will start next year, but it is the quarter where most of your competitors are likely to take their foot off the gas. Success in the salon business is about finding the opportunity and then capitalising on it. Make no mistake, the actions, goals, and sales expectations you plan for the fourth quarter will be the single biggest determining factor in how much business you do in the first quarter and possibly all of next year.
Here are sales and business growth strategies to help you finish strong:
Review and re-evaluate your business goals. Now is the time to check in on the goals you set for your salon earlier in the year, to see how things have gone so far. Goals continually change, so use this time to re-evaluate the goals you may have set earlier to confirm if these still fit with your business. If they do, make sure you hustle to make it happen. If not, then scrap them and find better goals.
Get real about your numbers. If you need help with this, check in with your accountant as quarter four is a great time to review your progress, such as what’s your revenue so far this year, what are your projections until the end of the year, and what your running costs are. Also, think about whether you need to improve productivity and look at your end of year taxes.
Make a plan. Commit to making quarter four your strongest sales period this year. Work with your team to analyse your clients’ spending patterns. Time is short, with end of year obligations and holiday time. Be clear about what you want to accomplish, who is going to be involved, and how you are going to do it.
Christmas is the peak services and retail period of the year and preparation must start now. There’s lots of work to do if you want to get the best revenue results for your salon during the festive period.
The key issue is timing. The date for Christmas does not change and by 24 December, your Christmas business is done, so plan backwards, with the following checklist:
What are the peak number of clients, appointments, retail orders and gift vouchers you can handle each day?
Do you have adequate staff in place for all roles and are they fully trained?
Do you have backup staff trained and on call?
How much retail stock will you need on hand?
Are you ready to reach out to clients and host pre-Christmas events, promotions, and sales? If not, get planning, as you don’t want to look back and realise you have missed the opportunity!
Do you have Christmas cards, gift-wrapping materials, and space?
What is your plan to maximise gift voucher sales?
What is your follow-on plan to ensure vouchers are redeemed in January and February, ensuring a healthy positive start to the new year?
Don’t forget about online Christmas business. Do you need to plan your Christmas marketing campaign now?
Can you give your salon a Christmas theme, and train all your staff to up-sell services, vouchers and retail gifts?
Take time to be prepared for the festive selling season and your sales figures will reflect your hard efforts – practice and preparation will make it happen.
Liz McKeon is a salon business expert